Bhubaneswar: Dhanu Sankranti is an auspicious day as per Hindu mythology and occurs when the Sun enters the Sagittarius sun sign or the dhanu rashi. It is of special importance in the state of Odisha.
It is a significant day for Vishnu devotees. Taking a dip in the holy rivers rids a person of the sins committed by him or her. And worship of the Sun God is considered extremely beneficial as he showers them with his choicest blessings. People also take part in philanthropic activities. They distribute food, clothes and other items to the needy. Some devotees even observe a fast.
Dhanu Muan: It is a dry delicious sweet made out of puffed rice (called khai/ lia in Odia), ghee, cashew nuts, coconut slices, cardamom (elichi), cinnamon (dalchini) and sugar. It resembles nutri-grain bars in its texture.
Significance: The start of Dhanur Mas is observed with special puja offered to Lord Jagannath. Dhanur Mas is said to start on Makar Sankranti. This day is also celebrated by worshipping the Sun God.
During the entire festival that commences from 16th of December for nearly 15 days, the Bargarh town becomes Mathura, the Jura River becomes Yamuna, and Ambapalli is depicted as Gokul. All adults and children together celebrate and many plays and musical performances take place. The entire stretch of nearly 5 kilometers become like a theatre where large number of people get involved and enact various episodes of Lord Krishna’s life.